Dark & Moody Kitchen Design – How To Get The Look
When it comes to kitchen design, there is a multitude of design and style options to choose from. From bright and airy to sleek and modern, the choices can be overwhelming. But if you’re looking for a design that exudes elegance, sophistication and drama, a dark and moody kitchen could be just what you need.
While light and bright kitchens still remain very popular (looking at you white kitchen!) I’ve been seeing a definite shift towards dark and moodier kitchens over recent years.
In this post, I’ll explore what makes a kitchen ‘moody’, and offer tips on creating the perfect dark & moody kitchen design that’ll have you reaching for a glass of red wine in no time.
Let’s get into it!
What Is A Moody Kitchen?
When I talk about moody kitchen design, for me, it’s all about creating an atmosphere that’s dramatic and sultry, using dark colours, rich textures and natural elements. It’s the perfect design style for those who want to make a statement in their home and are not afraid to take risks. (which, as a kitchen designer, I love!)
For me, creating a dark and moody kitchen is all about experimenting with textures, finishes, and colours. Whether you opt for dark woods, indulgent metallics or natural elements, the key is to create a space that is sultry, inviting and dramatic. When done right, a moody kitchen can add a touch of luxury to your home and make a strong statement.
However, when designing a dark kitchen, it’s important to consider the amount of natural light that the space receives. If your kitchen lacks natural light, you may need to add additional lighting to ensure that the space is well-lit and inviting. Additionally, it’s important to consider the size of your kitchen. A small kitchen may feel cramped and dark if it’s designed with too many dark elements.
It’s important to strike a balance between moody and overpowering, as a kitchen that is too dark can feel claustrophobic and uninviting and nobody wants that!
How To Get A Dark & Moody Kitchen (Design Ideas)
Creating a dark and moody kitchen is all about playing with colours, light, textures and finishes. Here are some tips to help you achieve this look:
Using rich colours is a great way to achieve a dark and moody kitchen. Deep colours like dark blues, rich greens, and charcoal greys provide a sense of depth and create a dramatic atmosphere in the space. These colours are perfect for homeowners who want to create a bold and stylish look in their kitchen.
A dark backdrop provides a great canvas for adding bold accents, such as gold faucets, metallic light fixtures or brass hardware. Using deep rich colours can also add a touch of warmth and cosiness to the space, making it the perfect place for cooking and entertaining.
When using rich colours in a kitchen, it’s important to balance them with lighter elements. If you choose a dark hue for your cabinets, consider using a light countertop to help create a little contrast. This can help prevent the space from becoming too overwhelming and make it more inviting.
Similarly, choosing lighter flooring or painting your walls a brighter, softer tone can help to balance out the darker elements of the kitchen.
However, if you are looking to create the biggest impact, having your base cabinets and upper cabinets in the same dark, rich colour can really help to unify the space and provide an ideal backdrop to build upon.
If you want to take dark and moody to the next level, doubling down on dark cabinets and dark surfaces such as countertops or backsplashes can really give a sense of mood and luxury. Darker countertops paired with darker cabinets can really draw the eye into the room to create that cosy, moodier feeling.
Using dark wood tones is another effective way to achieve a dark and moody kitchen. Dark woods, such as mahogany, cherry, and walnut, create a rich and elegant feel in the space. Their deep hues can add warmth and depth to the kitchen and create a sense of cosiness.
Dark woods add a classic and timeless feel to the space, while still providing a sense of luxury and sophistication. When combined with other dark elements, such as dark walls and cabinetry, they create a cohesive look that is both bold and refined.
Dark wood can be used in a kitchen in a variety of ways. They can be used for cabinetry, flooring, countertops, shelving or even as an accent for a kitchen island seating area. This versatility allows homeowners to create a customized look that fits their personal style and preferences.
As with rich colours, don’t overdo it with dark wood. Using too much throughout the kitchen can make the room feel very heavy and visually overwhelming. A little can go a long way so it’s important to balance them with lighter elements.
Incorporating elements of metal is another way to achieve a dark and moody kitchen. The use of metallic elements, such as gold, brass, and copper, adds an indulgent and luxurious touch to the space, while also providing contrast to the dark elements.
Metallic elements can be used in a variety of ways in a kitchen. They can be used for the hardware on the cabinets and drawers, light fixtures, a beautiful faucet or even as an accent on the backsplash. They can also be used in larger elements, such as range hoods as well as any freestanding or countertop appliances.
When using metallic elements in a dark and moody kitchen, it’s important to consider the tone and finish of the metals. Warm, burnished brasses or gold accents tend to work best with dark woods and other dark elements, creating a sense of richness and depth. However, shiny or reflective finishes such as chrome can reflect light and add brightness to the space. Which may or may not be what you want to achieve.
Using metallics can also provide a bit of glamour and interest to the space. Adding a metallic element, such as a gold or brass range hood, can serve as a focal point for the kitchen and create a bit of drama. Similarly, adding matching metallic elements to the hardware or light fixtures can create a cohesive look that pulls the design together.
When creating a dark and moody kitchen, lighting can be used to great effect! If done well, it can create depth, contrast, and drama. This can be achieved through the use of different light fixtures to help create different layers of light. Pendant lights, wall sconces, and under-cabinet lighting can be strategically placed to highlight specific areas of the kitchen and create interesting mood lighting.
An important consideration is to avoid overly bright lighting, which can detract from the dark and moody atmosphere. Instead, lighting should be dimmable, allowing you to adjust the intensity to create the desired ambience. The use of warm-toned light bulbs can also help to enhance the cosy and inviting feel of a dark and moody kitchen. I usually recommend something 4000K (Kelvins) or less to give off that warm yellow light.
Another aspect to consider is the placement of lighting fixtures. Pendant lights can be used to create a focal point over an island or dining table, while under-cabinet lighting can be used to highlight countertops and create a warm glow in the space. Wall sconces can be used to add height and highlight particular areas such as any open shelving.
It’s important to be able to control all these fixtures and layers of light individually. This allows you can create different lighting styles and moods for different scenarios. For example, you may want all the lights on while you are busy preparing a meal so you have can see what you’re doing and work safely.
However, switching off the main light and just leaving on some warm under-cabinet or pendant lighting while you’re eating can really help to enhance the mood.
Using matte finishes and textures is another effective element and trick to help create that dark and moody kitchen. Matte finishes create a subtle sheen that absorbs light rather than reflecting it, giving surfaces a soft, velvety feel that adds depth and interest to the space.
Matte finishes and textures can be used in a variety of ways throughout the kitchen. Cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, and even appliances can be finished with matte textures or coatings. By using matte finishes and textures on different surfaces throughout the kitchen, you can create a cohesive and layered look that adds interest to the space.
Matte finishes also work well with natural materials like wood and stone, which can be used to create a tactile, organic feel that adds warmth and character to the kitchen. This can be achieved by using natural stone or wood countertops, a textured backsplash, or even a statement cooker hood.
In addition to providing a sense of depth and warmth, matte finishes and textures can also help to create a quiet and calming atmosphere in the kitchen. By minimizing harsh reflections and shiny surfaces, matte finishes can help to create a serene and understated ambience.
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Another little trick to create a warmer, cosier and moody kitchen is to add plenty of texture!
Natural materials like wood, stone, and brick can add a sense of warmth and texture to the space. While also helping to create a rustic or industrial feel that is often associated with darker, moodier aesthetics.
One way to incorporate natural materials into a dark and moody kitchen is through the use of wooden cabinetry or open shelving. The use of dark or weathered wood can create a cosy, inviting atmosphere that adds character and depth to the space. This can be paired with other natural materials like stone or brick to create an even more rustic or industrial feel.
In addition to cabinetry and shelving, natural materials can be used in other ways throughout the kitchen. For example, a marble or wood countertop can create a striking contrast against dark cabinetry or walls, adding texture and interest to the space. Similarly, a brick or stone backsplash can add a sense of depth and character to the kitchen, while also creating a sense of warmth and cosiness.
Natural materials can also be used in other design elements throughout the kitchen. For example, the use of natural fibres like wool or linen in textiles like rugs or window treatments can help to soften the space and create a sense of warmth and comfort.
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Matching wall and cabinet colours
Painting your walls and kitchen cabinets the same colour can be a simple yet very effective way to achieve a dark and moody kitchen. This approach creates a seamless, monochromatic look that can help make the space more cohesive and unified.
Additionally, by using a darker colour for both the walls and cabinets, you can create a sense of depth and richness throughout the rest of the kitchen space.
When choosing a colour for your walls and cabinets, it’s important to consider the overall look and feel that you want to achieve. Darker colours like navy blue, charcoal grey, and deep forest green can be especially effective in creating a moody and dramatic atmosphere. These colours can help to add a sense of sophistication and elegance to the space, while also creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere.
Additionally, it’s important to choose a paint finish that complements the overall aesthetic of the kitchen. Matte or eggshell finishes can help to create a more subtle, warmer and understated look. While gloss or satin finishes can create a more dramatic, high-end feel. Personally, I prefer the softer matte look.
What Are The Best Colours For A Dark & Moody Kitchen?
When it comes to dark and moody kitchens, there are a few colours that work particularly well:
Deep blues can be an excellent choice when it comes to creating a dark and moody kitchen. It’s a classic colour choice that’s often associated with sophistication and elegance and can help to create a sense of depth and richness in the space.
Deep blues such as dark navy, ink and midnight blue can add a luxurious and high-end atmosphere. Making the space feel more cosy and inviting, while also adding a touch of drama and intrigue.
The versatility of deep blues is another reason why it can work well in a variety of kitchen styles, from traditional to modern. This colour can be paired with a range of different materials and finishes, from natural woods to sleek metals, making it a versatile choice for any kitchen design.
Additionally, deep blues are a classic colour choice that won’t go out of style. This colour has been popular in home decor for years and can add a timeless, sophisticated feel to any space.
Blue is often associated with feelings of calmness and serenity. Making it a great choice for a kitchen that doubles as a relaxing living space.
If you’ve ever read any of my other posts or watched any of my YouTube videos you’ll know I’m a sucker for a green kitchen! Especially a darker hue. And when it comes to creating a dark and moody kitchen, rich greens can be an excellent colour choice.
Green is a calming and grounding colour that can bring a sense of nature and tranquillity to a space. It also works well with other natural elements such as wood and stone.
Rich dark green, such as heavy forest green, hunter green, or emerald green, adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to any kitchen. These shades are deep and bold, providing a sense of depth and richness to the space. When paired with metallic elements such as brass or copper, rich greens can create a high-end and elegant look.
One way to incorporate rich greens into a dark and moody kitchen is to use them as an accent colour. For example, green cabinetry can be paired with black or dark grey countertops to create a sophisticated and timeless look. Alternatively, green tiles can be used as a backsplash, adding a pop of colour and texture to the space.
Darker shades of grey can not only add sophistication and drama but can also add depth and texture to a kitchen, making it an excellent choice for a dark and moody design. Dark shades of grey can provide an ideal backdrop for kitchen elements such as cabinetry, countertops, and even appliances.
One of the benefits of dark grey is its versatility. This colour can work well in a range of design styles, from a transitional kitchen to a more contemporary space. It pairs beautifully with light wood accents, like pale oak or ash, for a cosy look, or with white or black for a more dramatic look.
Charcoal grey is also a popular choice for cabinets, as it can hide dirt and wear and tear more easily than other lighter colours. With the right lighting, it can also provide a warm glow to the kitchen, creating a quiet comfort that makes it an inviting space to cook and gather in.
Black can add a sleek and stylish look to a kitchen, making it an excellent choice for creating a dark and moody atmosphere. The colour is often associated with sophistication and elegance, making it perfect for modern or contemporary designs.
Black cabinetry paired with dark walls and flooring can create the ultimate dark and moody kitchen design. Certainly not for everyone but done right, it can look stunning!
Black is a bold, dramatic and strong colour that can create a sense of depth and contrast in the space. This makes the kitchen more dynamic and interesting, and it can be used on walls, cabinetry, or even as an accent colour. Black is a timeless colour choice that has been popular in home decor for years, making it a classic and elegant option for any kitchen design.
In addition to its versatility and timelessness, black can be complemented by various other colours, including warm woods and metallic accents. This makes it easy to create a cohesive and unified look in the kitchen while incorporating different materials and textures.
Are dark kitchens out of style?
Dark kitchens have been popular for many years, and their popularity has remained relatively consistent over time. In recent years, I feel as though there has been a renewed interest in dark and moody kitchens, which has led to a resurgence of this design style.
One reason for the enduring popularity of dark kitchens is that they can be customized to fit a wide range of design styles across traditional, modern and transitional styles. The use of natural materials, metallic elements, and matte finishes can all help to create a dark and moody look. As well, you can update and adapt these elements to suit current design trends.
Another reason that dark kitchens remain popular is that they can create a sense of luxury and sophistication in the space. Dark colours can add depth and richness to a room, creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere. They can also create a sense of drama and intrigue, which can make the space feel more dynamic and interesting.
However, it’s important to note that design trends are constantly evolving. What’s in style today may not be in style tomorrow. But, as I always say, if you love the look, go for it! It’s your kitchen! Trends will always come and go.
On a personal note as a kitchen designer. I feel as though more and more clients are starting to become a bit more daring with their colour and design choices. Wanting to create kitchen spaces that have more personality and interest. Which I’m all for!
There you have it! My guide to creating a dark and moody kitchen design!
A dark and moody kitchen can be a striking and luxurious addition to any home. By playing with textures, finishes and colours, you can create a space that is both sultry and inviting. Whether you opt for deep blues, rich greens or charcoal greys. The key is to strike a balance between moody and overpowering and to ensure that the space is well-lit and welcoming.
So, will you embrace your inner darkness and create a moody kitchen that will leave a lasting impression on your guests?
[Cover image by deVOL]
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.